Olivier Lafreniere displayed another stellar performance between Ottawa’s pipes, making 40 saves, while Ben Evans and Jared Steege both had a three-point game leading the 67’s to a 3-2 win over the Battalion in North Bay, Thursday evening.
Despite being outshot 42-25, Lafreniere made sure to keep his team in the game, especially in the second period as the 18-year-old netminder stopped all 16 shots he faced, keeping his team ahead 3-1 after 40 minutes.
The 67’s struck first as they opened the scoring at the 6:58 mark of the first frame when Artur Tyanulin scored his 13th, while Evans and Steege picked up the apples. With his goal, the Russian forward extended his point streak to six games (three goals and five assists).
The Battalion would tie the game before the end of the period, as Brad Chenier netted his fourth of the season with only 15 seconds left on the clock. Both teams headed back to the locker room with a 1-1 tie.
The Barber Poles took their second lead of the game early in the second period when Evans scored his 4th of the 2016 campaign only three minutes into the frame. Drake Rymsha would double Ottawa’s lead four minutes later with his team-leading 14th of the season (tied with Sasha Chmelevski). With the assists on the goal, Steege and Evans both picked up their third point of the night.
Lafreniere made sure his teammates would head back to the locker room with a 3-1 lead as he made several key saves before the end of the period.
In the third, the Battalion cut Ottawa’s lead in half when Steve Harland scored his 18th of the season at the 4:59 mark of the final frame, but the Barber Poles, led by Lafreniere, would weather the storm, en route to a 3-2 win to start off their three-game road trip.
The 67’s will continue their road trip Saturday evening in Barrie where they will face the Colts, before wrapping it up in Mississauga Sunday afternoon against the Steelheads.